Contact Form

    News Details

    Lakers fall to Suns in final preseason tune-up
    • October 20, 2023

    THOUSAND PALMS — The Lakers closed out their six-game slate of exhibitions with a 123-100 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night at Acrisure Arena, using the closest thing to what is expected to be their regular-season rotation as they showed at any point in the preseason.

    LeBron James and Austin Reaves were both back in the lineup after previously playing two exhibitions apiece, starting alongside D’Angelo Russell, Taurean Prince and Anthony Davis.

    Coach Darvin Ham wouldn’t confirm that the aforementioned unit will be the starters for Tuesday’s regular-season opener against the Denver Nuggets in Colorado, mentioning that forward Jarred Vanderbilt wasn’t available Thursday.

    The lineup of Russell, Reaves, Prince, James and Davis started all three games when James and Reaves were available this preseason.

    Ham said before the game that he doesn’t feel like he’s missed out on seeing anything he’s wanted to because of the varying player availability.

    “It’s a long process,” Ham said. “So you’re not going to have everything figured out in the first month of the season or whatever. You just try to apply your principles, try to make sure guys are in the best possible shape to start this long haul, physically.

    “We have a couple of guys dealing with some different issues. At the outset, we’re not trying to have the puzzle figured out. You want to make sure everyone is locked into the information and in a position where we can start to build on that and get even better at doing what we do.”

    James led the Lakers (2-4) with 19 points, six rebounds and three assists in 22 minutes. Davis had 15 points and six blocked shots, while Reaves added 14 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals.

    Ham subbed out the entire starting lineup midway through the third quarter. Cam Reddish, Rui Hachimura, Christian Wood, Jaxson Hayes and Max Christie filled out the rest of the first-half rotation.

    In addition to Vanderbilt, Gabe Vincent (lower back soreness) and rookie guard Jalen Hood-Schifino (right knee contusion) weren’t available Thursday.

    Vincent’s absence was described as “precautionary.”

    “Give him a few extra days,” Ham added, “so he can be ready to go come Tuesday night.”

    Initially, Thursday was expected to be a test run for both teams, with the Suns also playing their first regular-season game Tuesday against the Golden State Warriors.

    But the Suns sat starting guards Devin Booker and Bradley Beal, the three-time All-Star they acquired from the Washington Wizards during the offseason.

    Related Articles

    Lakers |

    Lakers ready to close preseason with ‘a little bit of a test run’ against Suns

    Lakers |

    Alexander: Lakers and Clippers, health permitting, should be dangerous

    Lakers |

    Lakers’ Darvin Ham gives Anthony Davis the green light on 3-pointers

    Lakers |

    Lakers, without LeBron James and Austin Reaves, drop preseason game to Bucks

    Lakers |

    Lakers’ offense showing significant development during preseason

    Kevin Durant still suited up and played the first half, making Thursday the first time James and Durant have played against one another since Dec. 25, 2018.

    Durant finished with 21 points (8-of-14 shooting), four rebounds and two assists in 17 minutes.

    The Lakers and Suns will square off again next Thursday in the Lakers’ home opener at Arena – in what is expected to be the first James-Durant regular-season matchup in nearly five years.

    “Two iconic figures in the game of basketball today,” former Lakers and current Suns coach Frank Vogel said. “And will forever be two iconic figures in the game of basketball. They basically dominated this generation in different ways. It has been something the fans have missed out on if it’s been that long since they shared the court together.”

    ​ Orange County Register